Who Are the NYU Anti-fascists?
February 21, 2017
Buzz surrounding the NYU Anti-fascists — a club basedon campus that, according to its website, fights against anything obstructing equality — has recently peaked after the club organized a protest against the NYU College Republicans’ guest speaker Gavin McInnes that ended in 11 arrests.
The NYU Anti-fascists is a coalition of NYU students, faculty, staff and alumni that actively advocates against the alt-right. The club refuses to allow misogynistic, racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, transphobic, homophobic, white nationalist or civic nationalist activity on campus.
Unlike other on-campus political organizations, such as the NYU College Democrats and the NYU College Republicans, members of the NYU Anti-fascists choose to remain anonymous. The NYU Anti-fascists said that this information is withheld to avoid harassment from members of the alt-right.
“There are many instances of alt-right communities harassing people they perceive to be social justice warriors,’” the NYU Anti-fascists said. “It’s happened on our campus. They resort to publishing personal information, sending death threats and other tactics of fear or humiliation. Working anonymously is safe and necessary.”
The NYU Anti-fascists said that because it is not an official club, it does not organize using a definite hierarchy, and the club has no set tactic on how to achieve its goals.
After the NYUCR suggested on its Facebook page that opposition from the NYU Anti-fascists fueled the administration’s recent decision to postpone the group’s guest speaker Lucian Wintrich, White House press correspondent for the Gateway Pundit, the NYU Anti-fascists said that it was not planning to disrupt the talk.
“We were aware about Lucian Wintrich’s plans to speak on campus, and were monitoring it,” the NYU Anti-fascists said. “Wintrich is a provocateur whose statements on women and immigration are tasteless at best. Our group hasn’t made any public call to disrupt his appearance. As far as we know, he has not directly advocated for violence against protestors or marginalized people, as in the case of Gavin McInnes and his Proud Boys.”
One member of the NYU Anti-fascists said that they joined because of the rise in intolerant ideologies and the inability of the school administration to address issues.
“NYU’s institutional response to racism and sexism has long left something to be desired,” a member of the NYU Anti-fascists said. “Its strategy, when confronted by student activism, has often been to simply wait out the student’s time at the university. They will defer to the bureaucracy of the board of trustees, make chains of endless meetings, and make incremental reforms that don’t address the core of the issues.”
This member of the NYU Anti-fascists believes that the university’s inconsistency in addressing issues often goes unnoticed, and that the club aims to draw attention to more egregious instances of on-campus injustices.
A different member of the club said they joined, because they began seeing the tangible effects of the alt-right on their own community.
“I joined [the NYU Anti-fascists], because it suddenly felt like the mounting atmosphere of these alt-right ideologies had moved from the abstract of the internet or the media into my community, on my proverbial doorstep,” the member said. “It felt necessary to intervene.”
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Feb. 21 edition. Email Herman at [email protected]